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Moving the goalposts isn't helpful; let's skip to the end. I'm no believer in American Exceptionalism. I've read A People's History, I'm pretty familiar with the crisis of mass incarceration and the general failure of our criminal justice system, I'm well-informed about widespread domestic surveillance and espionage programs, and I'm deeply cynical about US foreign policy as a whole.

But even someone like me has to admit that the US is closer to a free state than China. Here's why I think that:

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- Our court system is constantly in the throes of 'freedom' vs. 'tyranny' (lots of judges disagree with Citizens United, for example.

- We have a free press that is constantly critical of our president and government.

- I can be critical of our president and government with absolutely no repercussions from my government.

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- We give billions in foreign aid.

- We still accept tons of asylum and immigration applications - In fact many of our cities are 'sanctuary cities' for immigrants

KaiOS brings the best of smartphones to affordable devices. Watch the video intro Learn More Apps for smart feature phones. WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and 500+ other apps available on the KaiStore. See all → Devices more people can afford. Software version 11.00.17.03 Brings Google, Youtube, Google Maps and Google Assistant in the form of Progressive Web Apps. Plus app store no longer requires.

- We celebrate the history of Americans who have fought for fundamental freedoms and civil rights

- We are the most diverse nation on the planet, and many of us are intensely proud of it.

- We have free elections.

- We have healthy opposition parties.

- We actually believe the US is a work in progress, not 'perfect as it is' (see: 'a more perfect union').

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Sure there's a lot of work to do. And I'm sympathetic to the fact that China and Russia face different challenges than we do. But I absolutely refuse to accept the assertion that the US is anywhere near the same point on the authoritarian spectrum as they are. Such comparisons are facile, ignorant, and reinforce a nihilistic vision of Western, classically liberal values that is at the root of the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism -- which is itself responsible for the destruction of many millions of lives across the world. These things are not the same, any more than Democrats and Republicans are the same. One is clearly better than the other, and it is literally a matter of life and death that we figure that out.

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Developers ask us all the time whether it’s possible to convert Android apps to KaiOS.

If it’s a web application built with JavaScript and web technologies, the answer is yes – and it’s actually pretty simple.

If it’s a native Android app built with Java, though, then porting is a bit trickier, and we recommend starting a new web application project in KaiOS.

In this post, we’ll share tips to help you get started, including how to ensure your apps run smoothly in smart feature phones.

Converting web apps to KaiOS

To migrate your web-based app to KaiOS, follow the instructions in the Getting Started section of our Developer Portal.

If you run into any trouble, contact [email protected] and a KaiOS developer will get back to you shortly.

Converting native Android apps to KaiOS

Converting a native Android app into a web app isn’t possible.

You could try using the Google Web Toolkit to translate your Java code to JavaScript, but we can’t guarantee it will work.

Instead, we recommend starting a new web application project using the resources on our Developer Portal.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to start from scratch. You can keep the architecture of your original app and reuse assets such as icons, images, and audio files.

Things to keep in mind when converting Android apps to KaiOS

  1. Smart feature phones are non-touch devices. Redesigning your Android app for smart feature phones is all about transferring touchable elements to physical keys.
    For tips on how to do this while still providing a good experience for users, check out Optimizing Smartphone Apps for Smart Feature Phones.
  2. Smart feature phones have small screens.Use the devtools in your browser to see how your app performs in 320×240 screen sizes.
  3. Smart feature phones are low-memory devices. Keep your app light (file size under 15MB) to ensure users connecting in 2G and 3G networks, or via pay-by-the-byte plans, can download it. The average KaiOS app file size is around 2MB.

Get help from a KaiOS Certified Partner

Need a hand migrating your Android app to KaiOS?

Certified Partners are developers and studios with experience developing for KaiOS and availability to work on KaiOS outsourcing projects.
If you’d like help converting your Android app to KaiOS, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll connect you with a certified partner.